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Energy Efficiency in a Modern Log Home

This modern interpretation of a log home is full of function, energy-efficiency and uncommon style.

Story by Suzanna Logan | Photography courtesy of 1867 Confederation Log & Timber Frame

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Rich Kinsman is surrounded by the beauty of log and timber frame homes everyday. As the vice president of sales at his family’s Ontario-based business, 1867 Confederation Log & Timber Frame, Rich has seen it all — from over-the-top log palaces to tiny timber retreats. But, when it came time for Rich to build a log home of his own for his growing family, he wanted to land somewhere in between. Having the best of both worlds meant combining logs and timber accents into a smart, sustainability-conscious design. It also meant embracing a floor plan and finishes that would suit a modern family while injecting a hint of drama into the mix.

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"I drew from the thousands of different plans and ideas I had seen over the years, but I went through the process the same way anyone else would — sketches, a full 3D walkthrough and blueprints,” Rich says. 

CON-6929_31_33_adjustThe 3,150-square-foot home that resulted from eight months of planning and six months of construction looks like a traditional log home at first glance. But if these walls could talk, they would tell you they’re far from typical.

“This is the first home we built using EEE logs, which are an engineered, foam-filled log with amazing insulating qualities,” Rich says. “With an R-value of 26.5, it’s a very energy-efficient wall system; and there’s no checking or cracking.”

In addition to its air-tight envelope, the structure includes solar shingles tied into the grid, triple-pane windows, eco-friendly plumbing fixtures and a wood-burning fireplace that heats the house during the winter. (A propane furnace is in place as a back-up.)

“Keeping everything energy-efficient was front-of-mind for us,” Rich says.

Having places for the family to spend quality time together and to recharge separately also were essential for Rich and his wife, Kim. A free-flowing layout suits the lifestyle of this young family.

“Whether we’re preparing a meal in the kitchen or watching a game in the great room, we are all together,” Rich says.

Downstairs, with its wet bar, pool table and theater, is the go-to spot for entertaining. Playing out their vision of having peaceful places to retreat, the couple situated both children’s bedrooms on the main floor, leaving ample space for a master suite upstairs.

 

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“We wanted our room away from everything, but still close enough for those years when the kids are young,” Rich explains.

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Throughout all three levels, a mix of finishes gives off a rustic-meets-modern vibe. Inside, clear-stained white pine logs and timbers paired with expanses of drywall pop against a palette of gray. Hints of silver and charcoal add depth to the bright spaces.

Birch, maple and distressed-oak floors lend warmth alongside natural stone, glass and iron accents. Sleek, kid-friendly furnishings punctuate every room. The look isn’t what you typically find in an average log home, and that’s exactly how Rich intended it.

“I wanted to step outside the box and showcase something different,” he says.

Rich also wanted to “max out” the decorative timber elements. Exposed posts and beams in the kitchen, intricate beamwork above the dining table and a half-dozen trusses spanning from the entry across the great room’s cathedral ceiling heighten the architectural drama.

“We wanted the home to be livable, but we also wanted that ‘wow factor,’” Rich says. “I wanted that feeling of being impressed every time I stepped through the door.” Mission accomplished.

Home Details

Log Provider: 1867 Confederation Log & Timber Frame

Square Footage: 3,150

Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2 full

Floor Plan

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